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Judges And Lawyers Awarding A $4,000 Scholarship

Scholarship Award. Chad Hasings

Martin County, Florida, September 16, 2015 – The Martin County Bar Association is awarding a $4,000.00 scholarship to a high school senior in Martin County that provides the winning essay on a Constitutional issue.  The association is awarding two $500.00 scholarships to the runner ups.  The issue revolves around police using drone technology to gather evidence.

Martin County Bar Association President, Chad Hastings said on Tuesday, “We are asking high school seniors to comment on an emerging issue under criminal law, whether the US Constitution permits police agencies to utilize drone technology to gather evidence.”  Under the scholarship question, the Martin County Bar sets for a scenario where the police fly a helicopter drone 20- 25 feet over a person’s 10 foot back yard hedges, and into their yard, to get photos of marijuana plants inside the home.  The question is whether this use of drone technology violates the United States Constitution.

Hastings commented “It’s a controversial issue here in Florida since the Florida Legislature passed a statute in 2013 stating the police investigators cannot use drones.  However, many years ago the US Supreme Court felt that aerial surveillance into privately concealed property was constitutional in the circumstance of a plane or a helicopter.  We look forward to hearing how our high schools seniors weigh in on the issue of drones from a Constitutional standpoint.”

The Martin County Bar Association has increased the amount of the scholarship in hopes that every high school senior applying for college will enter an application. Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Judge William Roby said, “The new format for the Martin County Bar Scholarship is an exciting addition to the overall program. A scholarship of this magnitude can make a huge difference in the life of a deserving recipient, making the difference in attending the school of their choice versus the school that they may only be barely able to afford.”

Students interested in applying for the scholarship can either go to their local guidance counselors , school administrators, or they can visit the Martin County Bar Website at  Michelle Katzman, the executive director of the Marin County Bar Association said, “This year, the Martin County Bar Association has allowed all high school seniors who plan to attend college to participate in the competition for the scholarship.  I think it is going to be exciting to hear how our seniors respond to this Constitutional question.”

Chad C. Hastings

Martin County Bar Association